When it's right

Sydney went to Renaissance Festival this weekend, so it was just me and Rob and the cats and the dogs.  It's funny how Syd's dog is getting more used to her not being here as much and has started to cuddle up to Rob and me.  But, that makes my cat jealous, so one evening, I had them both all over me, competing for attention, while the cat pretended not to notice that either of us was there.  You know how cats are.  Syd got home last night and was so tired she could hardly say hello and hit the showers and the fridge and the bed.  In that order.  Not sure how much attention her dog got.

It was supposed to rain all day Saturday, so I had planned to quilt all day.  But, Friday night, they revised the forecast to scattered showers.  We didn't get any of it, so about 10 I asked Rob to take me out to run some errands, and we naturally ended up in the garden center of a couple hardware stores.  And, of course, I had to buy plants.  Because that's who I am.  And, then I had to garden.  Because that's who I am.  And, I had to work out there until I could hardly move, because that's who I am.  And, then we sat and watched Mary Poppins, which isn't a sequel as much as a remake of the original with a slightly altered plot line.  But, it was good to see Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke, still out there working. 

It didn't take long quilting the wedding quilt to know that the swirly wind pattern was perfect on those stars. 

I'm going to quilt a loose feather around the border, but at the foot, quilt in our friend's names and the date.  We're still waiting to see if they will postpone the wedding.  One of the brides lost her Mom this weekend, and that's terrible timing for planning a happy event.  So, I'm going to wait and do the date at the very end. 

This is the first bloom on the mock orange.  The mock orange will be covered in these white flowers in a few days.  I can hardly wait, so I thought I'd share the first one, just as a tease.  This is the most prolific and reliable bloomer and it's started to reproduce, so I'm starting to give babies away.  But, giving away plants has gotten like giving away kittens.  Everybody loves them, but nobody wants the work.

These are the phlox, coming up for the year.  They're so thick and periodically, I lop off the end and start a clump somewhere else in the garden.  In the heat of summer, these will give me a lavender-pink bloom here and there around the yard, with the focus here, behind a small sitting area.

I'm always talking about my path.  This is it, filled in.  I grow ajuga and violets around the stones.  And, both are starting to bloom right now.  But, I have to be careful about the ajuga.  It would take over the garden if I let it.  The black pot on the left is Syd's pomegranate.  We're going to use a q-tip to pollinate and try to get it to fruit this year.  It hasn't made fruit yet, so she's kind of lost interest.  So now, it's all me.  But, I'm sure she'll get the first ripe one. and claim it's from her tree.

The violets blooming around the stones.  I don't know where the phrase "shrinking violet" comes from.  These are hardy and stand up to being stepped on and reliably come back and reproduce like mad.  I find them everywhere.  I also put them in flower pots because they wilt when the pot is dry to alert me, but spring back up soon as I add water.

This Louisiana Iris came from my Mom's house.  I think it was four yeas ago.  I grew them in a pot for a while til I found the right spot and then put them in the ground and nursed them for a couple years, and this is the first bloom I've gotten in my yard.  But, not the last.  I saw lots of bloom scapes out there yesterday.  It's always a good feeling after something hasn't bloomed for a while to see it happy and making flowers. 

So, that was our weekend.  Yard work.  Quilting.  Cooking.  And, I started knitting a pair of socks.  Because I was bored with my TV watching project and a pair of socks seemed to be just the right thing to keep me busy.  Note, I did not make the second sock of the pair I already had started.  Because it was a lot more fun to start something new.  I'm sneaky like that.

Everybody have a great Monday!  I'm off to conquer the world.  The car goes in the shop tomorrow for some paint repair.  I'm going to work from home for the duration rather than rent a car.  So, who knows what trouble I'll get into during my breaks from work. 



Making wedding quilt progress

I had to buy fabric for the border and back of this quilt.  Most of it came from scraps.  I added a half yard from stash and some strips, cut from stash for the larger star points.  But, I didn't have anything I liked for the border and nothing big enough in a batik for the back. 

I knew I didn't want more color.  Only half of this couple is bright and colorful.  The other half is calm.  I don't know where I heard this, but some quilt instructor said that if you want to add a color without adding a color, go with brown.  So, that's what I did.  I got it pin basted yesterday afternoon and I'm ready to start quilting.  I even remembered to pick up thread.  I'm going to use that swirly wind pattern, so it should go pretty quick.  I think a loose feather in the border.

It was a busy weekend.  We did a lot of "spring" cleaning, dusting baseboards and cleaning carpets and oiling all the furniture.  The house feels so clean!  Too bad it can't stay this way. 

But, that would eat into my quilting time and I think we all know the answer to that.

Yesterday when I was watering flower pots and emptying the greenhouse, I got a chance to just enjoy the yard without having to do a lot of hard work.  This is the path through the garden.  I had to lift the stones earlier this year and add new clay under them.  They sink and have to be lifted every couple years, but I love that path, so it's worth it. 

There is still not much color other than green in the garden, but there's lots of green now.  Everything has broken the surface.  I found a couple things still need moving around. 

These are columbine.  I don't know where they came from, but they've come back reliably, year after year for many years.  They make a ton of seed, but don't seem to re-seed themselves or make new plants.  Must be too hybrid for that. 

This is the oakleaf hydrangea.  This came from my sisters yard when they bought their house and it had had a hard time of it.  It took several years to recover and then another couple years to find it's happy place in the yard, but this year, for the first time, it is in the ground.  I don't know if it will bloom or not.  It may never bloom.  But, it makes a great leaf shape and in fall, those leaves turn red, but don't fall off, so it's a beautiful spot of color in the cold months. 

Poor Rob.  I got so distracted with this new quilt that I forgot to sew the buttons on the shirts I made him.  I made myself sit and do that this weekend.  The buttonholes were in, they just needed to be cut open and the buttons sewn on.  Took all of 45 minutes, including threading up the Bernina.  She sews on a nice button that lasts a long time, and I use her for that every time now.  I haven't sewn a button on by hand in a long time. 

And, that was our weekend.  Last week, I was incredibly busy at work.  My boss has asked me to do several new projects.  And, I've taken on a few new projects for my development.  And, I am so incredibly busy that the days fly by.  I've finally gotten over some of my compulsive need to "finish" things, which isn't the same thing as actually finishing things at all.  I would encounter something I didn't know how to do and rather than realize that I didn't know what I was doing, I'd work at it and work at it and work at it and work at it until I was so frustrated that when I finally got that step done, I had to walk away from the project for a while (UFO maker).  One time, I picked the quilting out of a small wallhanging so many times that the backing was threadbare and I had to throw the whole thing away.  Now, I've learned that I can work on something until I hit a hard spot, then walk away for a while and figure it out or get answers to whatever question stumped me while I work on something else.  It's a beautiful skill.

Everybody have a wonderful week!  Lane


Another wedding invitation, another quilt

We received a wedding invitation last week.  We knew they were engaged, but we had not heard about a date.  Now, we know.  Five weeks.  Don't people realize it takes longer than that to make a quilt?  Don't people realize that selecting a date requires officiate, venue, caterer, band, and QUILTER?

Anyway, Rob is on the injured list and no big projects were happening, so I dug right into it.  I got up early Saturday, in a bit of a panic that I wouldn't get it done and looked through my UFOs.  Nothing.  Then, I pulled out the pattern books.  I found a couple.  But, was feeling intimidated by the number of pieces.  So, I fell back on one of my favorite quilt books, Twosey-Foursey Quilts by Cathy Wierzbicki.  I love this book.  It's full of patterns that are based on 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 inch wide strips. 

We knew we wanted a colorful quilt.  Bright, bold colors, but not too bright so it would reflect both of them.  Stupid me didn't take a pic after I'd cut the background pieces to go around the edges and finish it out. 

This quilt was so easy that I cut out all the pieces except the edges in about four hours on Saturday morning.  Almost all of it came from my batik scraps.  Saturday afternoon, I started sewing the stars and they were done on Sunday morning and I laid it out with the larger hst units to get my colors to show up, alternating warm and cool colors so they'd show up.  And, then I put those blocks together and laid it out again and cut the background to go around the border and by dinner time last night, I had the first two rows put together.  I can't really ask for any quilt to go together faster than that. 

Hopefully, I'll have the rows together by next weekend so I can sew the rows together and add a border and get it pin basted and the weekend after that, I can quilt it. 

Plenty of time before the wedding. 

And, yet I still predict I will be sewing the last of the binding down on the day before the wedding. 

I could have finished this top this weekend, but I also wanted to work in the yard.  Nothing significant.  Just continuing to clean out the leaves.  I found a picture a couple weeks ago where I had grown caladiums in front of glider and decided I wanted to do that again.  But, I needed to clear up some detritus that had built up in that spot since I'd let it go.  That went well, til I moved a flower pot and came face to face with a snake that was in it.

My intellect told me it was just a garden snake and was not dangerous.  But, my instinct told me that was a pretty good sized snake.  Between them, I didn't stop working in the garden.  But, I did go get a pair of leather gloves to wear. 

One of the things I did was tie this bougainvillea up so it would be a taller shape.

This and the iris are all that are in bloom right now, but I can tell, it's not going to be long before things start to put on flower heads.  We had temps below freezing last week, and a couple of perennials that I thought were going to make it into spring with a head start from last year got bit back.  We talked about whether it was better to try to cover them or let nature have its way and decided it was probably better to let nature do its thing.  She's been doing her job for millions of years.  May as well trust her, right?

Everybody have a great Monday.  I'm adjusting to the time change.  My bedside clock didn't get reset so I thought I'd woken really early.  I went back to sleep, and just as I got into a real deep sleep, Rob was up and moving about.  And, I haven't been able to shake that groggy feeling yet.  I think some yoga might do the trick.  Get the old body moving and maybe the brain will catch up.  It's not going to be the kind of week that I can afford to be off my mark.  Everything is so busy at work.  Too many projects.  I move one thing forward as far as I can, then pick up something else with no break between. 

Hmmm, come to think of it, that's what I did this weekend, too.  Guess I am stuck in a back to back project habit. 



Not a weekend for yard work.

Gone were the sunny springs skies of February (Texas weather).  Instead, it was cold, windy and wet.  A good weekend to sew, sew I did. 

I got the last border on the HST quilt.  The working title now is "I used to have a box of bonus triangles."  It would be a great title, except I still have a box of HST.  It's just a smaller box.  Anyway, I had to play in the corners or add another round of 3" blocks so the outer edge of 4" blocks would fit, and I just didn't want to do that.  And, the quilt doesn't need the additional size.  It's plenty big now and VERY heavy. 

But, the real magic in this quilt is the "wrong side".  And, all those perfectly matched seam allowances.  I'm tempted to take it to show and tell tonight, just to show off the wrong side. 

But, I was done with that by about 10am.  What to do next?  Well, Rob had asked for two shirts.  And, I felt guilty because I had just made pants out of the last fabric he asked me to make him a shirt out of, so I decided to just go for it.  I knew his pattern needed tweaking, so I did that at the same time.  I spent Saturday afternoon adjusting the pattern and cutting the fabric.  I didn't know how big the collars and collar stands needed to be (I was adapting a camp shirt pattern that has front facings instead of plackets and a single piece collar), so I had to be careful to leave big scraps as I cut.  This one is pine trees, with little deer.  It's a little Christmassy but in July, when I'm not still working off cookie weight, it probably won't make me think Christmas. 

This one is my favorite.  Rob is obsessed with vintage travel trailers, so when I saw this fabric, I knew he would love it. 

Like the HST quilt, it's the details you don't see that make me the happiest.  The collars of both shirts were cut upside down so that when they were applied and folded down, they would be right side up.  And, the pocket on the camper shirt... 

Uh-huh.  I did that. 

Everybody have a great day.  I think it's cold all over today.  Not looking forward to having to leave the house.  So, I might work from home.  Just because I can. 

Y'all have a great day!!  Lane